When a police officer stopped the motorcar which Marlon Hosea Carrington was driving over eight years ago, he discovered what he believed was “in excess” of $20 000 in a clear plastic bag in the rear of the vehicle.
However, Station Sergeant Ronald Cummins, who has since retired, said he did not “arrest” Carrington of Phillips Road, St Michael that day – October 31, 2012 – but “invited” him to the District ‘F’ Police Station.
The policeman of over 43 years’ experience in the Royal Barbados Police Force was giving evidence in Carrington’s financial crime trial before a nine-member jury and High Court judge Madam Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell in Supreme Court No. 4.
Carrington is charged with engaging in a transaction involving the sum of BDS$57 000 being the proceeds of crime. Carrington pleaded not guilty to the offence which is said to have occurred on December 7, 2009.
He is also charged with possession of BDS$49 941 and US$36 on October 31, 2012 being the proceeds of crime.
Giving evidence on behalf of the Crown, Cummins told the jury that he was part of the Anti Gun and Gang Unit at the time and was on duty with other officers in civilian clothes. He said they were in a motor vehicle when they spotted motorcar M1357 along Hothersal, St John going towards Clifton Hill in the same parish.
Carrington was made to pull over with the use of the siren. Police identified themselves to him and Cummins said he requested a search of the vehicle to which the driver consented.
“While searching I found a plastic bag in the rear of the vehicle of what I considered to be a significant amount of Barbadian currency made up in different denominations,” Cummins stated.
The former officer said when he questioned Carrington, he replied: “This is money that I save at home to buy a motorcar that I see. I save it at home.”
Cummins, responding to a question posed by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale, explained that on the following day – November 1, 2012 – he saw and spoke with an officer from the Financial Crime Unit.
Under cross examination by Carrington’s attorney Ralph Thorne Q.C. , the former officer maintained that the money was contained in a transparent plastic bag and was “on the floor” behind the passenger and driver area but was not concealed.
He also disclosed that officers passed through the district with Carrington searching for the vehicle that he wanted to purchase.
Thorne challenged him on the comment saying it was not contained in his statement on the matter to which Cummins replied: “This encompasses investigations carried out. I said it today because it occurred . . . it wasn’t critical.”
When asked whether he had charged Carrington, the retired officer said he did not but referred the matter to the department of Financial Crimes and had no further involvement nor was he an active part of that investigation.
“I did not arrest the accused. I invited him to the station. I had no reason to arrest or charge the accused for any offence.”
The case continues on Thursday.